Your Age: 24
Your Location (where do you ride mostly): Minnesota, Utah, Colorado and anywhere there's snow..
Weapon(s) of choice: Snowboarding: Capita Space Metal Fantasy, Neversummer Pandora - Mountain Biking: Cannondale Lexi - Cruising: Neversummer Dime - Slackline: Gibbon
What’s an average day for you like? There really isn't such thing as an "average day" for me. I work at an awesome job that allows me to travel a lot, I am on Park Crew at Wild Mountain, I do some free-lance design work, spending time with family and friends is important to me, and I love to be active as often as I can. So, I take each day as it comes and I try to enjoy it! I am stoked about being a graduate (University of Wyoming) now as well, college was an amazing experience, but I'm definitely not complaining about this new-found free time!
What is the most difficult part of your activity/sports for a beginner? The easiest? The most difficult part for a beginner, at any activity/sport, is not holding back when those around you are much better than yourself. It's important to remember that no one was just born strapped into a snowboard (for example), anyone who is good at anything, first had their start, most likely with a bruised tailbone just like you. Put some headphones in, get in your zone, and tune out what those park rats have to say. The worst setback you can have for yourself is to not try, or practice, something because you're afraid of what others will say or think. The easiest part for a beginner is the fact a whole new world is open to you, once you start, there is so much to learn and you can go in whatever direction you desire! The more advanced you get, the more technical some of the aspects of your sport may get and that can be more challenging for some people, though it doesn't have to be. Also, if you just ask, there are usually a lot of people who will to give you tips and advice. I used to be intimidated by people in the park, but then I started asking them how they approached features and I became a lot more confident, even with them watching. Use your resources!
What is the best and worst thing about being female in your sport? The best thing about being a female in snowboarding right now is that women's snowboarding is in the midst of a huge progression. It's a great time to start, or join, because women all over are pushing each other to great extremes and more diverse riding; it's getting so creative and stylish.
What would you like to see change in your sport to make it better for you and other female athletes? I would like to see more women's local events, or women's categories within local railjams. Women's events are great places to meet and connect with other female riders. In addition, men and women ride differently, so we should be judged differently as well.
Besides your ability and style factor as an athlete, how would you describe your personal style? My personal style goes back and forth from tomboy to ladylike, depending on the occasion and my mood. I spent my teenage years growing up in Europe, so some of my style is definitely influenced from Moldova and The Netherlands. I can rock my burgundy Nike blazer high's, but I enjoy dressing up and putting some classy heels on every-so-often. I am definitely a fan of black and earth tones, plus maroon, I don't often wear bright colors, but there's no rule-book when it comes to personal style, just wear what you like and wear it with confidence.
What are your favorite brands/designers for your sports apparel and for stepping out? When riding, my go-to brands are: Ride, Burton, Adidas, Nikita, Volcom and SheShreds apparel. When stepping out: I don't care too much for the brand name, I wear what I like to wear and what I think looks good. However to name a few brands, I do wear a lot of Levi's, Pull & Bear, Dr. Martens, Nike/Adidas classics, and Stance socks.
Let’s hear your thoughts on how important looking good is to feeling good. “Being” your personal best? I am all for people wearing what they want to wear, but for me personally, I like to wear what makes me feel good. When I feel good about what i'm wearing, subconsciously my confidence gets a boost and I seemingly perform better at whatever i'm doing. I like to present myself in a positive manner, not with the goal to impress someone, but because when I feel good, I perform better. 'Look good, feel good, play good' - someone said that.
What usually gets people hooked on your activity/sport? What usually gets people hooked on actions sports is the aspect of personal growth and competition. Every time you're out there riding, you're improving in one way or another. It's an amazing feeling when you finally stomp a new trick or try something you've never tried before and your "personal best" was just taken to a new level. There's always something to learn or improve on, thus there is a never-ending amount of goals to keep striving for and accomplishing.
Do you own any other toys? I own a slackline and an N64, both equally fun.
What do you do in your spare time when you’re not riding/shooting/competing? I enjoy traveling and exploring, whether it be somewhere out of the country, or a city nearby, there is always something new to see and experience. I like reading as well, nerd level 10, would recommend.
How about in the off season to stay in shape? I actually enjoy working out at a gym. I also like hiking, mountain biking and basically anything that gets me outside and keeps my body moving. I've dabbled with boxing and I would like to try that again once snowboard season is on pause.
What is your biggest goal to accomplish this/next season? I want to start hitting some big jumps and get comfortable with the heights and rotations. Also, I want to lock in those FS Boardslides.
What’s your favorite “way” to ride? I love tree runs and natural features when i'm out West. In the Midwest I enjoy park the most. However, I want to start experiencing street/urban riding.
Favorite conditions? Powder days!
Where would be your biggest dream place to ride and why? Japan. After watching Rice's Fourth Phase and they rode in Japan, it looked so different and interesting. Plus, it would combine my love for travel with my love for snowboarding. On another note, I'd like to mountain bike in Alaska (looking to check this off the list this summer!)
What song(s) do you listen to while riding that puts you in the zone? When it comes to riding, I make a new playlist every season and then continually update it throughout the season when I hear something I like. I mostly enjoy anything that has a mellow, but steady beat. On the other hand, if the lyrics are inspiring, then that can pump me up as well. The lyrics of a song are just as important to me as the beat.
What turned you on to your sport? When I was in elementary school, my friend let me borrow his tie-dye Walmart board (thanks, Ryan!). I took it to my backyard, turned my dad's skis upside-down and tried to "grind" across them... I thought I was so cool. Thus began my love for snowboarding.
Any new tricks you’re working on? All the time. Currently, I am working on FS boardslides and tricks off of jumps. I have been avoiding those a bit lately, but i'm working on becoming confident with rotating.
What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done in your sport? Snowboarding in Romania was an awesome experience. The Carpathian Mountains are beautiful and the Romanian culture is one of my favorites.
What other extreme/action sports are you into? Mountain biking is definitely another love of mine. I ride more endure right now, but I want to get into downhill. I also enjoy skydiving, I would like to train to fly solo at some point.
If extreme/action sports didn’t exist, what would you be doing with all the free time you’d have? I would be gearing my time much more toward music. I enjoy playing my acoustic guitar and have had the privilege of playing some low-key venues and I really enjoyed it, but I enjoy action sports more.
What’s the trick to riding features and not killing yourself? For one, don't be afraid to ask for advice! Also, the trick is not going for the massive feature right away, but also staying away from riding the baby-baby features all the time - challenge yourself, but build up to the big features. Stomp some basic features and build your confidence and skill up from there because then the massive features will seem more approachable, and by then hopefully you'll have enough skill to not kill yourself. Also, it's okay to hit the feature slowly the first couple of times and then just jump off. Get a feel for a feature you want to hit and then start hitting it with more speed.
What do you want to be when you grow up? I don't think that one day you just "grow up". I believe that growing up is a process, and within that process you grow as an individual. As I keep growing, I want to continuously pursue my passions and goals. I want to continue learning and bringing value to people. I want to be a part of movements that are influencing people in a positive manner and spreading hope. Lastly, I want to be an example to others that age doesn't define when someone can or cannot start pursing the activities that feed their daydreams.
Any of your own web pages or social media buttons you want links to? Instagram: hjdarrin, Facebook: /heather.darrin, http://hrjdarrin.wix.com/design